Compare broadband bundles which offer cheaper deals if you bundle your broadband, TV, home phone and line rental with one supplier (some even include a mobile phone in the same package). The only downside is that it can be difficult to compare prices, and you have to watch out for initial discounts and connection charges.
Use a price comparison site to compare internet providers and prices for your area quickly and easily.
Below is a list of some of the most popular UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
The longer the contract length the cheaper your overall broadband bill can be. If you're happy to sign up for an 18 or 24-month broadband contract then you can often benefit from a cheaper monthly deal.
How fast an internet connection do you really need? Lower Mbps broadband speeds tend to be less expensive. It's also worth considering the actual speed your prospective ISP can deliver. They may promise a speed of 30 Mbps, but actually only deliver much slower speeds to most homes. However, this could soon be a thing of the past – fibre rollouts are happening across the country, and the 2015 Budget promised that 100Mb broadband would soon be available in nearly all homes.
Mbps = Internet connection speeds and Internet transfer speeds are measured in kilobits per second (Kbps) and megabits per second (Mbps).
Avoid cheap broadband deals with low broadband download limits or broadband usage allowances. Most ISPs don't put a limit on how much you download through your internet connection, but check their terms and conditions beforehand so you don't get stung later. Where there is a limit, these usually start from as little as 1Gb per month up to a 40Gb usage limit per month. If your downloads go over your monthly usage limit, the additional charges can be steep. Find a package with unlimited downloads, or check your typical monthly download usage before you sign up to a new package.
Low initial monthly subscription deals may seem appealing, but work out the true cost of the broadband package by looking at all of the costs involved, such as activation/connection costs, hardware costs (e.g. is the modem free?) and delivery costs, and look at what freebies you can get, such as free wireless routers, etc. Add everything up and divide it by the number of months your contract is likely to be for, to work out your true monthly cost.
Use Moneyfacts' Broadband Comparison to search according to your needs.
Watch out for 'hidden' extra costs. Moving to a new home or calling helplines, for example, can both add to the cost of your broadband package. Check the cost of re-connection fees if you're thinking of moving and make sure the cost of calling customer services is free or at a local rate. You may want to consider where your new internet provider's call centre is based and their customer service record, too.
Compare broadband customer reviews for all broadband packages here**
** Simply enter your postcode - this helps us to show you the broadband deals in your area and unbiased and un-edited broadband reviews from real customers who have rated their service. Look out for the star ratings.
Nothing in life is 'free'. Some mobile broadband operators offer things like tablets and even games consoles with their broadband packages, but it may not be that good a deal - multiply the monthly subscription cost by the contract length to work out the true cost, and then compare that to a cheaper deal to find out how much you're paying for the 'freebie'. Failing that, you could always sell the freebie on eBay to pay for your broadband!
Think about the type of connection and whether it is available in your area. In the UK there are only a few types of internet connection on offer. The majority of UK households are on an ADSL connection for broadband. However, cable is becoming more widely available, and superfast fibre broadband services are also being rolled out. Check with your prospective provider to see if these options are available in your street. If not, it may well become connected in the future.
The most popular types of Internet connection are:
Don't forget to ask your neighbours about which provider they use and what they think of the service. Ask your friends for their opinion too. A personal recommendation is always better than an advert.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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